Does Calcification Stabilize Plaques
With an advanced technique called radiofrequency ultrasonography, the lipid material, fibrous tissue, and calcification of arterial plaques can be distinguished from one another and quantified. In two studies that used this imaging technology, statin therapy did decrease overall plaque area, but the proportion of calcified plaque actually increased .
A higher coronary calcium score could indicate more stabilized arterial plaques
How Is Atherosclerosis Diagnosed
Atherosclerosis may not cause symptoms, but early warning signs could include chest pain, fatigue, and dizziness. CAD is a common cause of chest pain.
When investigating for CAD, medical imaging can assess the heart function, electrical changes, or blood flow . A coronary computed tomography angiography may also be appropriate.
CT angiography can be used to non-invasively examine the coronary arteries. Using a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce comprehensive, detailed images, this exam can detect both calcified plaques and noncalcified plaques. Patients with family histories of heart disease may be at risk for developing atherosclerotic plaque buildup, blocking or narrowing arteries. On CT, these can be identified even before symptoms of chest pain develop.
Take Care Of Your Oral Health
Did your gums ever bleed when you went to the dentist? Chances are you have a problem.
If your gums bleed when you go to the dentist, you should get checked for arterial plaque and prediabetes. Around half of adults 30 years and older have periodontitis . The most common cause of periodontitis is prediabetes.
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Treatment For Plaque Buildup
Doctors target smaller, unstable plaque. “If we have a 30% blockage in the artery from soft plaque, the goal is to try to suck out the cholesterol from the inside, so the plaque shrivels down to 15% and leaves nothing inside it,” says Dr. Cannon.
How do you get the cholesterol out of the plaque? By lowering levels of cholesterol in the blood, where it travels inside particles called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoprotein deposits cholesterol into blood vessel walls. The drugs used most often to reduce LDL cholesterol levels are statinssuch as atorvastatin and rosuvastatin . Statins block the liver enzyme that promotes cholesterol production. Another medication called ezetimibe may be added to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract. “Shrinking plaques with strong statins has been seen when you get LDL below 70 ,” says Dr. Cannon. Harvard Health Letter
Very intensive lifestyle changes have also been shown to shrink plaque. Dr. Cannon recommends that you:
Cac Score Can Enhance Prediction Of Cvd Risk
The Framingham Risk Score predicts a persons chance of developing CVD within the next 10 years, based on age, diabetes, smoking, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol. However, this model only identifies 70 percent of individuals at risk for CVD . Whats more, up to 60 percent of cardiovascular events occur in those who were classified as low or intermediate risk by the Framingham Risk Score . Adding the CAC to the risk calculation better predicts CVD and clinical outcomes . The CAC score on its own is a verified independent predictor of cardiovascular events .
The CAC score has other benefits. The imaging procedure is noninvasive and does not require a contrast agent. Patients who know their CAC score tend to adhere better to treatment plans because they can see calcified plaques .
Some of the risks of the CAC score include the following:
- The radiation dose delivered is 50 percent more than a mammogram , which can increase cancer risk with repeat exposures .
- An increasing score over time could indicate an increase in plaque density rather than in size.
- The score does not give information about arterial stenosis .
- The interscan variability is non-negligible .
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Drugs And Lifestyle Changes To Cut The Chance Of Having Atherosclerosis
Reducing the risk factors that lead to atherosclerosis will slow or stop the process. Ways to lower the amount of cholesterol in your body involve taking cholesterol and blood pressure medications, eating a healthy diet, getting frequent exercise, and not smoking. These treatments won’t unclog arteries. But they do lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Here is some advice that can help you improve your cholesterol level and reduce the risks that come with atherosclerosis:
- Exercise, with or without weight loss, increases “good” HDL cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- A diet high in fiber and low in fats can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.
- Oily fish and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can raise âgoodâ HDL cholesterol.
- If you know or think your cholesterol is high, or if you have a family history of high cholesterol, talk to your doctor about ways you can lower it.
Statins are the most frequently prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs. They can dramatically lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, by 60% or more. They can also increase HDL. Studies have shown that statins can reduce the rates of heart attacks, strokes, and death from atherosclerosis.
Because of its side effects, niacin is much less often prescribed than statins or fibrates.
What About Medications To Help Lower My Risk For Heart Disease
Medications are available for lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, but these medications work best when lifestyle changes have already been made. There is evidence that certain medicines called statins can slow the process of both chronic kidney disease and heart disease. These drugs are used to lower high cholesterol levels in the blood, helping slow down the progression of chronic kidney disease.
COVID-19 patients can become kidney patients.
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How Did Gerry Reverse His Arterial Plaque
Gerry followed the familiar pattern. He discovered he had type 2 diabetes, so he restricted his carbs. He lost weight, added some supplements, and made adjustments in his prescriptions. He took ACE inhibitors and low-dose statins.
Gerrys nickname is Quanticus he loves to quantify things. You can see that as he tells his story. He provides detail in his history that very few patients or doctors can provide.
Natural Ways To Lower Your Cholesterol Levels
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Cholesterol is made in your liver and has many important functions. For example, it helps keep the walls of your cells flexible and is needed to make several hormones.
However, like anything in the body, too much cholesterol creates concerns.
Like fat, cholesterol does not dissolve in water. Instead, to move around the body, it depends on molecules called lipoproteins. These carry cholesterol, fat, and fat-soluble vitamins in your blood.
Different kinds of lipoproteins have different effects on health. For example, high levels of low-density lipoprotein results in cholesterol deposits in blood vessel walls, which can lead to (
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Raising Hdl ‘good’ Cholesterol
Nissen says the previous studies suggest that Crestor may be more potent than other statins, “with a greater capacity to lower LDL and perhaps to raise HDL.” LDL is “bad” cholesterol and HDL is “good” cholesterol.
By snaking a small ultrasound probe into the coronary arteries, the researchers showed that Crestor reduced the volume of plaque in the arteries by 6.8%.
Average LDL cholesterol levels dropped from 130.4 mg/dL at the start of the study to 60.8 mg/dL, “which is the lowest level ever achieved in a statin trial,” Nissen says.
To the researchers’ surprise, there was also an unprecedented rise in “good” HDL cholesterol levels, from 43.1 mg/dL at the start of the study to 49.0 mg/dL two years later, he says.
The findings suggest that “rather than use target levels of LDL, let’s get our patients as low as we can without safety issues,” Nissen says.
LDL levels of less than 100 mg/dL are considered optimal, while HDL levels of 60 mg/dL or higher are considered protective against heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.
Williams notes that not every person with fat-clogged arteries will benefit. In the study, plaque regressed in about 64% to 78% of participants, Nissen says.
“But what that means,” he adds, “is that if you achieve these low lipid levels, there’s a pretty good chance you will regress.”
Problems Caused By Statins
However, there are significant health issues from taking these drugs. 7% to 29% of patients are reported to develop muscle complaints while receiving statin treatment. These muscle issues can show up in a high percentage of people as simply weakness, without any pain or discomfort. Complaints are often made worse by exercise. Statins have been shown to reduce mitochondrial oxidative capacity and content in human muscle and impair mitochondrial adaptations needed in muscle during muscle activity. This issue of the statins causing weakening of muscles, is especially important as we try to have everyone increase their activity and exercise levels, to maintain health and longevity. This means that people on statins are less likely to be as active or exercise as much as they should be doing. And, most people tend to follow their doctors advice and take the statin medicine as prescribed.
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Can You Reverse Coronary Artery Disease
If you have coronary artery disease , it means the arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle have plaque in their walls that may cause blockages. Getting those arteries to widen and become flexible again might seem daunting, but youâre far from powerless.
You can absolutely prevent CAD from worsening, and with some hard work, you might even be able to reverse some of the damage, says Gregg Fonarow, MD. Heâs the co-director of the UCLA Preventative Cardiology Program at the David Geffen School of Medicine and a spokesperson for the American Heart Association.
CAD is the most common type of heart disease and the leading killer in the U.S. of both men and women. By taking action, you can reduce the chances of having a heart attack, which may happen if the plaque thatâs lining your arteries blocks blood flow to the heart.
To protect yourself, youâll need to stay on top of your diet and exercise and take your medications every day, says Fonarow. If your goal is to actually reverse CAD, those medications will likely include high-dose statins.
Other Statins May Work
Roger S. Blumenthal, MD, of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Preventive Cardiology Center in Baltimore, says he believes that unprecedented rise in HDL is one of the most exciting findings of the trial.
While no one knows for sure, “the HDL improvement probably played a large role in the plaque regression,” he says.
So will other statin drugs also reverse plaque buildup?
No one knows that yet either, Nissen says. “But if you achieve these low LDL levels by other means, you would probably get the same results. It just hasn’t been tested.”
The Journal of the American Medical Association
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How Does Arterial Plaque Shrink
We have been talking about plaque formation for now. But how does the shrinkage of arterial plaque happen?
According to Feig at al. , these are the possible mechanisms by how plaque shrinks at the microscopic level:
- Theres decreased retention of atherogenic apolipoprotein B within the arterial wall. Apolipoprotein B is the major protein component of VLDL, IDL, and LDL. Because VLDL, IDL, and LDL are atherogenic , the level of apolipoprotein B indicates the atherogenic potential of these lipoproteins.
- Cholesterol and other toxic lipids flow out from plaques.
- Foam cells are removed from plaque.
- Phagocytes remove dead tissue debris and other components of the plaque.
How To Prevent Atherosclerotic Plaque
People at risk of developing atherosclerotic plaque should be tested if possible. Atherosclerosis cannot be reversed once it starts, but early detection and the implementation of a management plan can help to prevent its progression and the build-up of atherosclerotic plaque.
You can help to prevent or delay atherosclerotic plaque from developing by reducing your risk factors through simple lifestyle changes. These include actions such as prepping a heart-healthy diet with minimal saturated fats, being physically active to help maintain a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking.
Speak to your doctor if you are concerned about your risk of atherosclerotic plaque build-up.
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Can High Blood Pressure Be Reversed
If you are reading this, then it is very likely that you are suffering from high blood pressure. It is very likely that you are fed up from the symptoms and from having to take your medication each day. Worst off, you are fed up from the side effects that the hypertension medications gives you such as impotence, cold hands and feet and much more. So you are wondering if your condition can reversed? Keep reading as I reveal the shocking truth.
High blood pressure is called the silent killer. That is because if often does not have any warning signs. Once you find out that you have hypertension, then it is too late to work on prevention. So the thing you have to do is actually find out what is it that caused your condition in the first place.
If you are over weight, considering losing a couple of pounds. 5 to 10 pounds can make a huge difference. By losing some weight, you can reduce the pressure that the fat puts on the blood vessels. If you lose some fat, you will give your vessels more room to expands. Your heart will not have to work as hard to pump blood around and your over all health will improve.
Other factors that contribute to this health condition is tress. Yes it sound unbelievable but it is true. The stress in your life can raise your hypertension levels.
right now to visit and learn how to reverse hypertension and live a stress free life without having to consume pills every day for your current condition.
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Procedures To Unclog Arteries
Using invasive procedures, doctors can see and unclog arteries, or provide a path for blood to go around blocked arteries. Treatments include:
- Angiography, angioplasty, and stenting. Using a catheter put into an artery in the leg or arm, doctors can enter diseased arteries. This procedure is called cardiac catheterization. Blocked arteries are visible on a live X-ray screen. A tiny balloon on the catheter can be inflated to compress cholesterol plaque in the blocked arteries. Placing small tubes called stents helps to keep open blocked arteries. The stent is usually made of metal and is permanent. Some stents have medicine that helps keep the artery from getting blocked again.
- Surgeons harvest a healthy blood vessel from the leg or chest. They use the healthy vessel to bypass blocked arteries.
These procedures involve a risk of complications. They are usually saved for people with significant symptoms or limits caused by the cholesterol plaques of atherosclerosis.
American Heart Association: “Atherosclerosis,” “Cholesterol,” “Common Cardiovascular Diseases,” “What is Atherosclerosis?” “LDL and HDL Cholesterol: What’s Bad and What’s Good?” “Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs,” “Phytochemicals and Cardiovascular Disease,” “Effects of Normal, Pre-hypertensive, and Hypertensive Blood Pressure Levels on Progression of Coronary Atherosclerosis,” “Antiplatelet Agents,” “Anticoagulants,” “Anticoagulation,” “Questions and Answers About Statin Therapy.”
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How The Fat You Eat Affects Cholesterol Levels
The relationship between the fat we eat and our health, particularly our cardiovascular health, has been hotly debated for many years.
Heres what you need to know:
Not all fats are created equally.
The kinds of fat you eat matter more than the amount.
There are different types of fats in our diet:
Polyunsaturated fats: essential and important nutrients
Monounsaturated fats: can come from plant or animal products and are generally considered healthy
Saturated fats: less healthy than mono- and polyunsaturated fats
Trans fats: unhealthy fats
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Explore Autophagy And Intermittent Fasting
Many havent heard of the term autophagy. But breaking it down into two components helpsauto means self, and phagy means to eat.
Think of autophagy on a cellular level. Parts of the cell are dissolved, digested, and used for new cell parts energy and components. In short, autophagy is recycling at a cellular level.
Multiple articles, journals, studies, and scientists have described the role of autophagy in health. . Theyve researched biomarkers such as MTOR, IGF-1, and other biomarkers that are a part of this picture.
Is rapamycin a fountain of youth pill that can reverse plaque?
This happens all the time. There is a search for a magic pill. A candidate is found, but it has dangerous side effects. Still, there will be plenty of risk-takers that will try it.
Rapamycin is one of those drugs. It is supposed to be a fountain of youth pill. A veritable fountain of youth would be worth the significant risks. But the major mechanism for rapamycin is simply to stimulate autophagy.
Again, there is a better, safer, faster, and cheaper way in terms of lifestylefasting is the ultimate stimulus for autophagy.
Long considered a fringe activity, intermittent fasting became mainstream with a science review article in the New England Journal article on December 26, 2019 .
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